Before his own allegations came to light, the ‘Morning Joe’ contributor said there was “nothing illegal” about Trump groping women.
The fact that Mark Halperin was one of the most sycophantic reporters covering Donald Trump’s bid for the White House in 2016 was no secret.
What was a little-known secret in Washington until five women spoke out against him this week, is that the Morning Joe contributor and Game Changeco-author, has his own history of alleged sexual harassment. Before NBC even got the chance to get rid of him, Halperin announced that he would be taking a “step back” from his so-called journalistic duties, saying in a statement, “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize.”
Looking back on how Halperin covered the Trump campaign, however, it was clear that he did not understand what constituted inappropriate or even illegal behavior in regards to the candidate.
Last May, after The New York Times published an explosive story that included accounts of several women claiming Trump sexually harassed them over many decades, Halperin—a seasoned political pundit—said on Morning Joe that the candidate should be “celebrating” the news.
“There’s some troubling things in the piece, but there’s nothing illegal, there’s nothing even kind of like beyond boorish or politically incorrect, which is built into the Donald Trump brand,” Halperin said at the time. “So, if that’s the best they have in this score, Donald Trump can celebrate this story politically.”
Among the actions that Halperin deemed legal was Trump allegedly “groping” a female employee under the table during dinner. “Let me just say, this was a very traumatic thing working for him,” the woman told the Times.
In October, after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump can be heard bragging about how women let him “grab ‘em by the pussy” because he’s a celebrity, Halperin initially tweeted this response: “When people say some new Trump tape could have material that is WORSE than the @accesshollywood video, what exactly could be WORSE?!?”